Broadcast Ad Spending Hurt by Writers Strike

Sep 18, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Ad spending on U.S. broadcast TV dropped 6% during the first half of 2008 compared to the same time period last year, a new report from Nielsen Monitor-Plus reports. The big difference between the two time periods: the Writers Guild of America strike that crippled Hollywood and the second half of the 2007-08 broadcast season.
Cable TV and syndication ad spending showed increases year-over-year during the same time period, up 8.1% and 7.2%, respectively. The two topped the list of measured media categories with the most growth.
The losses to broadcast TV are mostly due to the effects of the writers strike earlier this year. While production for the fall TV season is in full swing, the Screen Actors Guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers continue their contract disputes and the threat of an actors strike still looms over Hollywood. SAG national board election results, which are expected to be announced today, could have a significant effect on the way contract negotiations are continued.
Spanish-language TV ad sales also saw a 4.5% bump year-over-year, while African American TV sales, including BET, TV One and programming where African Americans composed 50% of the audience or greater, saw a 5.1% dip.
The media categories with the biggest losses during the same time periods were print publications, including local newspapers (off 7.3%), B-to-B magazines (down 8.0%) and national newspapers (down 8.1%).
(Updated: Third paragraph, 1:25 p.m.)


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